Guiding Systemic Change: A cross-case analysis of ‘transition labs’ in Canada and Sweden
Other conference contribution, 2018

Agenda 2030 presents a global ambition to transform our world into sustainability. In this study we seek to advance knowledge on how sustainable systemic change can be guided in practice, and how the keywords of Agenda 2030 can provide value in such work. We argue that the conception of sustainability and desire for positive change may form strong coalitions and motivators for realizing transitions challenging the status quo. This study seeks to make a practical contribution into some of the methodologies, processes, tools and techniques that may be useful in guiding systemic change: with an emphasis on backcasting and a multi-level model for transitions. The study is exploratory in its approach, building on a description, comparison and cross-case analysis of two lab methodologies and insights from their application in concrete cases: the Energy Futures Lab in Alberta, Canada and the Challenge Lab in West Sweden. The analysis is guided by a novel analytical framework operationalizing keywords of Agenda 2030 to shed light on how sustainability transition processes (including transition labs) may contribute to sustainability transitions. The framework itself, and the explorative comparison and analysis pose some questions that may inspire further development of transition lab methodologies to have a transformative impact across systems.





Agenda 2030



Johan Larsson

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Physical Resource Theory

Stephen Williams

University of British Columbia (UBC)

John Holmberg

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Physical Resource Theory

9th International Sustainability Transitions Conference
Manchester, United Kingdom,

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Innovation and entrepreneurship

Subject Categories

Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified

Energy Systems

Areas of Advance


More information

Latest update

6/8/2018 2